Friday, October 30, 2009

Fibermania or Fabric Dyeing Melody's way

Collage of various parts of a Quilt made up of Melody's hand dyes

We seem to be on a fabric dyeing kick, so I would like to introduce you to Melody Johnson, a multi-talented lady from the U.S, who very generously shares her talents via tutorials on her various blogs. (don't you just love the 'net - you get to 'meet' the most amazing people)

Melody's blog 'Melody' is a cornucopia of information and visual feasts, but do be warned, coffee is a prerequisite, you will spend time on these sites.

Her site 'The Lazy Dyer' states of her dyeing techniques 'Not exactly the right way...just exactly my way' and goes on to give detailed, easy to follow, down to earth instructions, with pics on dye mixing, equipment needed and if you want to lash out and go into the fabric dyeing business, a dyerack shelving system for drying fabrics
How's this for a workstation?

Some of Melody's amazing quilts that you will see on her blog.
I'm sure I remember reading in one post of how Melody found a way to store her quilts, there were about 50 of them hanging on skirt hangers in the wardrobe, she stopped hanging because she ran out of hangers..................not because she ran out of quilts! Took me days to get my head around that one!

More of these wonderful vibrant quilts can be found on the art quilt gallery link,and you can even purchase a wonderful work of art on the available quilts link. Hmmm, Christmas is just around the corner, what a wonderful pressy a quilt would make.

So what does Melody do when not dyeing and quilting? well, she also paints.
A recent commission

But her kick at the moment is knitting,
this lady does the most amazing knitting!, socks, scarves and the cutest of all, a Draft Dodger, Melody has 9 knitting patterns available for you to knit up a storm. No sock pattern on the above link but I'm sure there is, if not a pattern, then general directions on the blog.
Oh, and did I mention she cooks, plenty of really yummo recipes throughout the blog but don't miss Melody's bread recipes, check them out, delicious! you will find them under 'Helpful Stuff' in the sidebar, along with more info than you can possibly read in one sitting, or even 2, or......... well you get the picture, there is always something to learn, something to feast the eyes including beautiful pics of their world, oh yeah..... talking of feast the eyes,.... go find the hot tub piccies.............. now that's living!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Getting Down and Dirty

Sheila requested that we all wear old clothes to today's meeting, refused any other info, we all thought "ahh rats, that time of year again, time to scrub and clean and dust".............wait a minnie, we have never scrubbed, cleaned or dusted, well not the Cottage we haven't, our bit of the storage space maybe, but that is hardly a call for everyone wearing old clothes. No, something more was afoot.

And this is what it was all about......dyeing.....fabric dyeing, what fun!
Sheila and Sue were our tutors, they took us through the steps of scrunching, wrapping on cylinders, resistance, and discharge dyeing.

Sheila explained that careful measuring was a crucial part of dyeing, particularly her exacting method of a couple of drops of colour into a medicine glass and add enough water for it to look a good colour, pop the dye into a squeeze bottle to drip or into a spray bottle, something left over from household cleansers is a good choice. Recycling is always a good thing.

Sue was carefully measuring out the rock salt to pop onto the sample in the above pic.
Ja` and Christine were some of the first to jump in.
Ailsa was keen to try the scrunch method. Sadie has rinsed her first piece and is laying it out to partly dry. There is a fabric dyeing room at the Cottage, mainly used by the Fabric Artists group but we had fun giving it a run. Very easy to work in, with a great layout.
A pair of socks that Sheila did previously for someone special in her life.
One of the many discharge dyeing pieces.
Leaves and lace were some of the resists used in the discharge process.
We learnt to be a bit critical of our fabrics, the teal just wouldn't discharge, not absorbent at all, while the twill was a success, both twills going through a range of colours.
Some of the sample pieces hung out to dry on the veranda
Some folks were so hard at work they weren't able to afford the time to take part in the workshop.
Birthday Girl Denise and assistant Louise were cataloguing the results of a fabulous spending spree that Sheila and some of the committee members had at the Brisbane Craft show last week.
And did I get a great pic of Denise chomping into her Birthday Cake? a lovely sticky concoction of Chocolate mud cake, you bet I did, its a beauty!, of course you can have a peek, just let me know, we can talk terms......he he he...

A sneak peek at some of the goodies, how wonderful to see some of our hard earned monies being spent on equipment for our library. You did a great job shopping girls!Judy was clowning around, showing off the high quality of her 'daggy olds', some people just clean out their wardrobes a little too often, dontch think?
Judy's flimsy is another of the 'Paper Angels' projects, Judy used the fabrics from a 'brown paper bag' swap that she took part in last year, her fabric choice was what she has used as the border and the other swappers added the fabrics Judy used in her blocks. Does that make it a free quilt?

Wendy has finished her tessellation T quilt, and bought it in to show us, and guess where this lovely is going to live! on Wendy's coffee table!, I wanna go have coffee at Wendy's house, don't you?
Lorraine, who spent last week on another quilting retreat, made this lovely bag. She purchased the fabric and Pattern from the Palmwood Art and Crafts Group when they visited us just 3 weeks ago. Lorraine explains that the bag isn't 100% finished yet, she still has to make something clever to cover the magnetic clip, something in keeping with the gorgeous fabric beads that she has made that decorate the front of the bag. Cute huh?, and how about those feathered leaves. Time consuming said Lorraine but oh so effective.
Remember that delish slice from last week's arvo tea? well Fae gave me the recipe yesterday and I will share it with you.

Mix together in a bowl
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Self Raising flour OR 1 cup All Purpose flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Coconut
pinch of salt OR if using All Purpose flour use 1/4 teaspoon salt

Melt 125 grams or a quarter pound of butter
Add to dry ingredients in bowl and mix well.
Press into a 22cm x 27cm (10 1/2" x 8 1/2") slice pan.

Cook in Moderate oven for 20 Min's. Do not overcook.

1 cup icing sugar OR powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
hot water to mix, approx 1 teaspoon, added slowly
Mix to flowing consistency, adding a little extra water if needed.
Pour over cooled slice.

Cut slice into squares when icing has set using a sharp knife.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trish Alan Designs

Wow, what a fantastic giveaway from Trish, one of our followers (just scroll down the side bar, almost to the bottom of the page, there it is, our little list of followers, all wonderful bloggers that you can visit.)
Trish is celebrating 500 posts on her blog and is hosting a wonderful giveaway of 2 packs of matched colour blends with a surprise in each pack. Pop on over and leave a comment for a chance to win.

As well as the wonderful hand dyes that Trish markets, her site also has a string of free tutorials, like turning cheap paper towel into these Christmas Tree Garlands!
or another wonderful tutorial on Dorset Buttons that can be used to decorate all manner of craft items and also make wonderful Christmas Decorations, for gifts, the home or tree
With the Christmas Holidays coming up fast, there are many projects that will entertain the Grandies over the holidays, how about hand made beads? either fabric or paper.

And then of course these cute as a button folded flowers
Trish Alan Designs, a site well worth visiting

Christmas Door Stop from Vicki

Vicki from Tozz's Corner has designed the cutest Christmas Door Stop for her Gum Tree Designers giveaway.
Pop over to Gum Tree Designers to check it out and then on to Vicki's blog to say thank you and while you are there, check out all the lovely goodies that have arrived in the mail and the pile of beautiful fabrics she ordered from the U.S., can't wait to see what Vicki makes out of those.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sappo's quilt backing and a win for Heather with some divine cup-cakes

Blue and Gold Baltimore Beauty with its creator Heather on right and Judy from Furball Farm Quilting who did such a wonderful job of quilting this fabulous quilt.
Congratulations Heather and Judy! Wow! another win for Blue and Gold Baltimore Beauty, Second Prize. What a thrill to see it on the Queensland Quilters site.

As a prelude to next weeks dyeing workshop, Sheila bought us in the backing she has done for Sappho's quilt,
Sheila has made this such a personal backing, with Sappho's name, and many references to Madeira, and other personal references on the backing. It will make Sappho's quilt reversible.

Denise is on a roll, a bag making roll that is, she went back to Johno's for more fabric and with help from Robin found the perfect match for the inner shoulder strap and lining.
Denise also used the lining fabric for the circles that she has appliqued to the front of the bag using a lovely gold thread and machine embroidery stitch. And the best news, she has promised to make some for sale at the Christmas Fair.

Because it was the first afternoon tea for the new year we needed something a bit spesh, so asked the DIL to make us some cup-cakes. Oooooh! major Yum!, she made these little chocolate raspberry mud-cakes with a delicious frosting topped off by little sparkly pink decorations.
DIL is wanting to start a party cake business, and with darlings like these she will be a great success. Just had to have another brag and show a close-up.
An Addendum:
Janet forwarded us an e-mail from Patchwork Angel, they are offering special fabric buys to Loyal Angels Only, so if you are a Loyal Angel, pop over here to get the info you need.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Gum Tree Designers 3rd Christmas Giveaway

Well its here, Cheryl Goss of Willowberry Designs has the loveliest Christmas mini wall hanging for us, it is just so cute.
Click on the link above to download Cheryl's Pattern, or pop over to Gum Tree Designers from the button in the sidebar.

You can thank Cheryl from here or her button also in the sidebar

Free Shipping from Hancocks of Paducah

Page 3 - Free Spirit $19.98 U.S./$21.83AUD

Page 1 Kaufman Deco Park $36.98US/$40.41AUD
Hancocks of Paducah have free shipping until October 21st with a Minimum order of $75
Loads of Jelly Rolls starting as low as $17.
Fatquarters, Layer Cakes, Charm Packs and patterns designed for using Jelly rolls as well as quilt kits.
Go make a coffee, click on the Hancocks link above and just enjoy the visit. So many yummy fabrics, and for inspiration, a wonderful array of finished quilts rolling across the top left of the screen.

Wow, its amazing, as I watch those quilts scroll across I keep thinking of who would love this one or what would appeal to so and so in that quilt.
Enjoy the site.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Congratulations, Thank You's, an abundance of goodies with the Second Row x Row Reveal

What a day! Firstly it was our Monthly meeting which was jam packed with items to be discussed and then our Annual meeting to present accounts and more importantly elect new office bearers.
Congratulations Sheila on being re-elected leader and Congratulations to the many other girls who have kindly become office bearers, without your hard work and donated time our group would not be the success that it is, and a Very Big THANK YOU to the outgoing office bearers who are looking forward to a very well earned rest.
This little man, who has visited with us before would like to offer these lovely chocolate strawberries to you all, for jobs well done. And just in case you are wondering, yep, that little mouth is full of chocolate strawberry.

This quilt was waiting on display when we arrived, some blocks had been unearthed in a cupboard clean out by Sue and Janet a couple of weeks ago - yes, just a couple of weeks ago, Sue was caught giving it that sideways look that we are all coming to recognise as instant inspiration. The blocks had been donated to us awhile back by long time Cottage member Thelma, and I recognised one of the blocks that Ailsa had been working on to finish. This lovely quilt truly is a work from many hands. It hasn't been decided yet weather to put it up for sale or to use it as a fundraising raffle.
This very disappointing pic of the most darling little baby girls quilt from Sue, palest pink and white dotted Swiss voile, cross hatched by ruffled ribbon with a decorative pink thread
In an effort to show more detail, this close up. It really is so sweet, I'm sorry the pic doesn't do the quilt justice.
Catty has really gotten into the swing of the Christmas Fair with lots of decorations, these cute stuffed apples, with a real stem
and loads of other cuties just waiting to decorate some lucky new owner to be's Christmas Tree, or maybe even be used as gift decorations. Now what do you suppose the resourceful Catti is using to hang her goodies from?
Betty has taken tessellations to Christmas with her 'Santa Bag' and has another two panels ready to become Tote number 2. With a bag like this Christmas shopping would be a delight.

This next pic must not be viewed by Denise's sister...........please close your eyes and scroll down, at least 16 clicks of your mouse - yes I just counted, at least 16 please and just think of the lovely surprise you will soon be getting you lucky girl.
Denise made this innovative bag for her Sis, no reason, Sis just mentioned she needed a new bag, and so soon she will have one, and why is it innovative I hear you ask, the handle and bag body are all one piece, the bag is joined through the middle, which is why Denise subtly decorated the front with applique circles, you can clearly see the seam on the back in the above pic.

Along with the Santa Bag, Betty has also been making Christmas Decorations, these lovely little Christmas trees, they would be so cute hanging in windows.
'Paper Angels' was Janet's bring along project for the year, just to fill in the few spare moments between her Cottage duties, a lovely BOM that not only made a fab quilt but also left Janet with a monthly collection of templates to be used on other quilts.
Another Pink quilt, this one from Marie, she called it a hybrid, - well no she didn't, but its the wee small hours as I type this and for the life of me I can't think of the word she used! - the most beautiful machine embroidery blocks, all quilted together.
Aren't these anthropomorphic embroideries lovely?, there is such detail in each one and the alternate blocks with embroidered flowers and sweet wishes.
ROW x ROW REVEAL for the Second Group
ADDENDUM:- Wow, am I a lucky duck, both Marie and Elaine are home so their row x row creators are now added to their reveals. Thank you girls.
The excitement was mounting throughout the day towards the second group's row x row reveal.
This colourful set of rows are Val's, she set the theme of her quilt with the top and bottom rows, Marie V. chose Ohio Stars, Elaine did the own choice row, Judy the 9 Patch, followed by Sue with the Log Cabin blocks, Lyn S with the Flying Geese and Ailsa did the flowers row.
The next reveal was Marie V.'s rows and what beautiful and detailed rows they are, how sad that I was unable to record who did what rows for Marie, she was off out the door before I could turn around...........well not quite, I was a wee tad disorganised trying to record and take the pics and thought that I would catch Marie, Elaine and Val at the end of the day, managed Val but lost Marie and Elaine, ack..... will update these rows as soon as I can, sorry folks.

The update, for Marie's rows. Marie started her rows with the blue birds and birdhouse on the top row, Lyn followed with the floral swag, Ailsa made the Log Cabin Blocks, and the 9 Patch blocks were done by Sue, Judy followed Marie's lead and created 'Blue Birds of Happiness' for the own choice row, next Val did flying geese and Elaine did the stars.
Next we had Lyn S.'s rows, lovely browns and golds, Lyn set the theme for her quilt with the group of star blocks in the center of the rows, Val did the stars on the top row, followed by Judy's Log Cabin, Elaine the 9 Patch and Sue the applique flowers. Marie did Honey Bees for the own choice row and the Geese were done by Ailsa.
The next quilt to be revealed was Sue's. Sue started her quilt off with a Japanese theme with the fans in row 4, Ailsa did the stars row, with Marie following with the Log Cabin blocks, Val did the 9 Patch and Lyn S made these cute 3-D kimonos as the own choice row, they certainly were a hit, followed by Judy S's Flying Geese row and finished with another 3-D row of flowers by Elaine.
Then we had Judy S's reveal, and there were a few gasps and giggles when Judy announced 'but girls, you know I don't like purple'!, she is such a tease that girl, she lives in a purple house for heavens sake! yep, purple in all its shades everywhere so this quilt to be is really going to fit right in.
Judy started the row with the vine and little yellow house, which yesterday she wished she had had just the right purple fabric for, perhaps when we see the finished quilt that house will be purple!

The first row of stars was done by Sue, with Marie doing the flowers in jugs, followed by Val's Log Cabins, the 9 Patch was done by Lyn S. with Ailsa choosing Jacobs ladder for own choice and Elaine did the Flying Geese.
Ailsa started her rows off with the tessellated triangles in the 4th row, Marie did the 9 Patch blocks, followed by Sue's Flying Geese and the Flowers by Judy , Val choose to do Pinwheels with a central block of applique toadstools for the own choice row, then the stars row by Lyn and lastly the Log Cabin by Elaine
The first rows to be revealed were Elaine's but again, missed getting that info, hopefully Elaine will be home this a.m. and I can update for you all.

The update for Elaine's rows.
Elaine set the mood for her quilt to be with a pictorial row featuring houses in a floral wreath, the Flying Geese and houses row was done by Marie, the stars were appliqued by Judy. Ailsa interspersed the 9 patch blocks with other designs, Val did the flowers, Sue chose to applique layered hearts for the own choice row and Lyn did the Log Cabin blocks.
The first row x row reveal girls were to add their own choice row and bring their flimsy in for a showing, well I'm not sayin' nuttin' 'bout no slackers, BUT, just two flimsies to display!, just because you are all away on Holidays...........really girls, oh yeah and there was that person who just bought along the rows, no flimsy, just rows, not even sashed!, oh well I'll try to do better next time.
But here is Janet's flimsy, Janet decided against another row as her quilt is to be a wall hanging. It looks spectacular.
Wendy bought the second finished flimsy along, she added the bottom row of squares in squares to make her length perfect and also added the rail fence border. There was some discussion yesterday and the decision has been made to add another narrow blue border from the same fabric as the sashing. Congratulations girls, great flimsies, can't wait til next year to see all the finished quilts.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...